It was only a short while after inventing the recipe that
includes cognac and Madeira, the tradition of
numbering each duck started and a little card was produced and handed to the recipient of
the meal confirming this.
The history of the Tour d'Argent is quite
fascinating and there is a visitors book where you can view some of the ducks that have
become famous in their own right. For instance, number 328 was served to King Edward
VII in 1890, number 40,312 was served to King Alfonso XIII in 1914, number 53,211 to the
Emperor Hiro Hito in 1921, number 112,151 to Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1929, number 667,998
to Thierry Luron and number 938,451 was served to President Mikhail Gorbachev 2001.
By 1990, the tradition of Frederic's numbered duck celebrated its 100th anniversary and by
2003 the Tour d'Argent celebrated its 1
millionth duck and the duck press is positioned in an area of the restaurant itself,
rather than in the kitchen out of sight.
This tradition is continuing today and this incredible haute cuisine restaurant in Paris also owns a farm on which
it raises all of its own ducks and you still get presented with a card stating the
specific serial number of the duck served at your table.
The first part of the duck from the breast is served in slices and covered in a gravy
containing the blood and juices from the crushed duckling, and then the next serving, or
next course shall we say, is the duck legs that are cooked in a different style.
Now this is not for the feint hearted but how the Canard au Sang is prepared..
First, a young duck is strangled to retain its blood and sent by train to the Tour
d'Argent the same day. The duck is then partially roasted and its legs and breast
removed. The liver is ground and seasoned and the remaining carcass (including other
meat, bones, and skin) is then put into the specially designed silver press where pressure
is applied to extract the blood and other juices from the carcass. The juice from
the carcass is thickened and flavoured with the duck's liver, butter and Cognac from the wine cellars, and then combined with the breast
to finish cooking. Other ingredients are also added to the sauce such as foie gras,
port wine, Madeira, and lemon. The breast is sliced and served with the sauce in a first
serving. The legs are broiled while the guests eat the breast and then the legs are served
in a different way for the next course.
And although the canard au sang is the famous dish, the Tour d'Argent in Paris also provides other types of duck dishes such as
duck with orange sauce or with peppers, etc, plus there are many other tempting meals
available if you feel that this traditional duck dish could be a bit much for you to
Address & Contact Details:
La Tour d'Argent
15-17 Quai de la Tournelle
Telephone: 1 43 54 23 31